Pulp, There It Is

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Does anyone else think it’s strange when you buy orange juice now you’re given a choice between lots of pulp, some pulp and no pulp?

Normally I’m an orange juice snob, coming from Florida as I do, and in Florida when you get fresh-squeezed orange juice you just know it has pulp. Oranges have pulp and therefore the juice has pulp.

But when you buy a factory packaged O.J. like Tropicana, as I do now and again when I’m sick or when I’m getting a bagel, I’m flummoxed with pulp choices. Do I want some pulp or lots of pulp? I certainly don’t want no pulp though I know there are people who hate pulp and I’m sure I’ll hear from them in the comments.

I just want the proper amount of pulp for the amount of orange juice I’m about to drink. How much pulp came out when you squeezed those oranges, Tropicana? Lots or some? Well put that amount in the container and I’ll drink it. You know since it’s 100% pure and natural I figure the amount of pulp should be pure and natural too.

What’s next, choose the tint of the orange juice color? The viscosity, the acidity? I’ll take what comes out of the orange and leave those choices to Mother Nature not Mother Industry, thank you.

41 comments

  1. Yeah, it is a weird quandary – generally speaking, I’m not a fan of pulp – unless, as you mentioned, the juice is actually real, and freshly squeezed, and delicious – then I don’t notice the pulp at all…

  2. My boyfriend always gets the ‘no pulp’ and I think that seems so unnatural. I also think the ‘calcium added’ tastes funny, or at least it used to. I stopped getting it for that reason ages ago.

    I totally agree, I want the amount of pulp it came with. I prefer buying the more natural-seeming orange juices like Bolthouse or Happy Planet (those are the brands in my neck of the woods anyway) when I can, as it’s kinder on my stomach.

  3. Actually, you can now buy low acidity orange juice. Sometimes the acidity of orange juice burns my tongue, so I tried it. Big mistake.

  4. I actually prefer the “lots of pulp” option, but i generally water my orange juice down a bit, as I find most juices too sweet.

    And as for the viscosity and color? Ever heard of Sunny Delight or Tang? I suppose those really aren’t orange juice, but they’re cheap imitations thereof, and are generally disgusting.

  5. Does anyone else think it’s strange when you buy orange juice now you’re given a choice between lots of pulp, some pulp and no pulp?

    These choices have been out for years and years. I can’t drink “lots of pulp” or even “some pulp”. No pulp is just right when I drink orange juice. The acidity is the problem and yes I would take “low acidity” orange juice.

    I’ll take what comes out of the orange and leave those choices to Mother Nature not Mother Industry, thank you.

    Funny. You really think the oranges up on those trees haven’t already been messed with by good old Man? Mother Nature has long been taken out of the picture dude.

  6. Well, there are people, like my beloved S., who simply do not like pulp at all.

    For breakfast I often squeegee an orange or two, but S. always asks me to strain the juice with very fine strainer so there is no pulp in his glass!

    So, you see…

  7. Well, as far as food processing goes, I think straining out the pulp (or adding extra pulp that’s been strained for the No Pulp juice) is pretty minor. I don’t like pulp, and even in fresh squeezed juice, I’d rather take it home, strain it, and then drink it. Unless it is in a mimosa, then I’ll tolerate pulp.

  8. Yeah, was looking at that the other day. Tried me the max pulp, that was just crazy insane. Then it was a clear choice for the medium grade, oh yes. But then? I was feeling cheeky one Sunday morning and bought the no pulp. While for normal juice drinking, it ain’t right. But for when to add to liquor? It is my friend. There’s something about “bits” being in my drinks. Kinda reminds me of my dear father finding his lost glass of wine, only to find a dead fly in it. He’d fish it out, of course. But it left a imprint on my meat riddled mind that I should not add bits to my drinks.

    Biggles

  9. Usually I eat the whole orange (skin and seeds excluded), so for me it’s always pulp and juice.

    Therefore, and back to your original question (how much pulp?) the answer is: lots of!

  10. I’m confused as well. For me, I just want orange juice to how it was taken from the orange. That’s why I would rather have the “freshly squeezed” OJ in bottles from health food stores. Unfortunately, they don’t have that in the big supermarkets.

  11. I actually picked no pulp this morning and I enjoyed it. I like my oj with ice so maybe I’m just a little strange. I’m not a big fan of pulp, even if it’s fresh orange juice, I’d strain it before drinking.

  12. My HS history teacher told us that the FDA has different requirements for the number of dead bugs that’s allowed into these orange juices. I’m not sure if she was trying to scare us or not, but going by that, lots of pulp = more opportunities for flies.

  13. Don’t forget, there’s the extra calcium option now, too.

    I’m with the camp that like OJ the way it comes out of oranges when they’re squeezed. Finding that is another story. Simply Orange seems to the closest I’ve found in Supermarkets.

  14. Pulp and no pulp options have been around for eons. When we were wee tots, my (now 25 year old) bro and I were breakfasting with our grandmother on a visit to Coronado, and he refused to drink the “hairy orange juice” – he was probably 5 then.

  15. I’ve always hated pulp…when we used to juice our own, I always had a strainer on my glass

    The OJ producers are simply responding to market forces…I’m sure I am counterbalanced by some guy who loves to chew his OJ

  16. I understand what you mean, Adam. I can understand having “regular” and “no pulp,” but once you start talking about quantities, like “some” and “lots,” I have no idea what I’m getting anymore. Maybe “extra pulp” was just Tropicana’s way of using up all that pulp they strained out of the “no pulp” varieties.

  17. Instead of the fresh bouncy pulp of a fresh squeezed orange, the pulp one gets in Tropicana is flaccid after having sat in a bath of processed juice for however many weeks. Furthermore, processed juice pulp is tasteless. So it’s odd drinking the juice only to run into so many bizarre lint like things that doesn’t taste like anything, much less the orange they are supposedly from.

  18. Low-acid OJ, really? Bizarre. It reminds me of low-carb bagels, another foodstuff that shouldn’t be.

    Pulp-less orange juice should only be used for making screwdrivers, if at all.

    Otherwise, orange juice that has been separate from the orange for more than 24 hours should be avoided if at all possible. There are other ways to get vitamin C.

  19. Oddly enough, I was having a conversation about this exact thing tis morning with my roommate. What exactly is with pulp “levels” in orange juice. And why the uncreative levels how about anti-pulp, pulp-ish and pulptastic. I would totally by OJ labeled pulptatstic.

  20. This is sheer marketing. Nothing to do with pulp. Watch Malcolm Gladwell’s pretty good TED talk (search ted.com for ‘gladwell’) on spaghetti sauce for the precedent.

  21. Great commentary but you didn’t just notice this, right? The pulp choice has been around for years my friend! My brother and I used to have fights about which was better – I liked pulp, he couldn’t stand it. Guess the industry ways really worked on him!

  22. I was just discussing this with my husband after we both got steamrolled by a cold over break. Our quandary: How do they get extra pulp in the juice? Do they take the pulp from the no pulp cartons and just squish it in? Or do they grow extra pulpy oranges? (not appetizing)

    Regarding the reason for it-the American customer must have all possible choices available at all times (unless the majority does not share your particular preference oddity–although Tang and Sunny D might be proof that there are fewer choices than we think in that category).

  23. This is such a funny post! You really make me laugh.

    I only drink OJ very occasionally, but I’ve always thought the pulp option was strange too. I mean, does “lots of pulp” have additional? I don’t know. So I understand completely!

  24. The whole pulp or not question bugs me too. I tend to go no pulp when it’s in the grocery store. You got freshed squeezed OJ at a restaurant, you got some pulp. Otherwise, I leave my pulp in my oranges, and just eat a couple at a time. I never trust the pulp from the store. It just doesn’t taste right.

  25. I don’t know about this whole “pulp is more natural, because that’s how it comes out of the orange” business.

    I mean, it’s true that if you squeeze oranges into a glass, you’ll have pulp in there. You’ll also (if you’re me, anyway) have seeds and maybe bits of the white pieces.

    So you strain it. You can definitely make “pulp free” home-squeezed orange juice — that’s what I do, with a fine strainer. While it’s an extra step and it takes a while, it’s not really making the orange juice more or less “natural.” It’s a preparation preference.

    Of course, I’m saying this as a militant no-pulp type. I really dislike pulpy orange juice, home squeezed or no.

    And although I drink it from time to time, I think we all know there is a lot that’s not natural about that Tropicana juice, pulpy or otherwise.

  26. I don’t want to be able to ‘chew’ my orange juice with so much pulp. But I’m bothered by the fact that I have to drink No Pulp now that I live with someone else.

    I like the middle ground of ‘some pulp’

  27. I would actually like for them to add additional pulp to my OJ. Like…if it takes 20 oranges to make a bottle of OJ, put in the pulp of 40. So that basically it’s a block of pulp. Like an orange, blended and in a bottle.

  28. Pulp please. I actually play around with the quantity based on the brand. My mom likes Florida Natural, so I get that with some pulp. If I’m getting a brand like such, I go for Simply Orange (most pulp), which always seems to be about the equivalent of what I would have gotten if it was fresh squeezed.

    But my favorite orange juice does not require me to make any decision at all—Bolthouse Farms Valencia Orange (yummy). They’re one of those companies where I actively try to not learn too much about, because I know the owners are super conservative, but damn they make great juices—Valencia Orange, Blueberry Goodness, Prickly Pear Lemonade, and now their BomDia line. O’ Acai Berry with Cacao or Acai Berry with Blueberrry (pleasant sigh). Okay, now I have to go to the store.

  29. This reminds me of how frustrating it is in Indian restaurants, for example, when the server asks how hot you’d like your dish on a scale of 1-10 but won’t tell you how hot it’s supposed to be. I’ve never had a hot korma, but I only know better because I like to read about food (of course, I celebrate the right to hot kormas if that’s what you’re into).

  30. I don’t know what’s with American OJ — do they process the oranges with the peel and all? It’s just too acidic for me, so I do the low-acid option when I buy it.

    I too (coming from Brazil) am an OJ snob — so since moving to the US I drink other juices like apple and grape, and more recently I’ve been able to find passion fruit and guava…. with normal pulp amounts!

  31. I recall reading at one point — and I’m one of those people who reads things constantly and never remembers where they came from, so please excuse my lack of a credible source and don’t take what I’m about to say as canon — that Tropicana and other OJ makers actually remove the pulp from all of their juice products. The pulp is then rinsed and added back in appropriate quantities for whichever variety is being packaged that day. The liquid that came off the pulp in the rinsing process is then sold to other companies and becomes the natural orange flavoring in “Orange Drink” and similar products.

    As for me, I’m one of those pulp-free weirdos. I don’t like anything vaguely solid in my drinks. I feel the same way about strawberry/raspberry seeds in smoothies. Liquids should be liquid!

  32. Living in Central Florida I guess I’m a a bit of an orange juice snob too. I don’t really ever drink Tropicana or Minute Maid orange juice. Ironically, I just got home from shopping; I stoppped by a fresh citrus retailer. There are a few of these little warehouse-looking buildings that sell lots of oranges, tangerines, tangelos etc. They also make fresh squeezed orange juice; it’s so much better than pre-packaged stuff.

  33. Tee hee. The longer I read this thread, the funnier the word “pulp” looks to me. PULP! pulp pulp pulp.

    PULP!

  34. I always get no pulp. I have really sensitive lips and I hate the feel of pulp on my lips. It is like having someone drag their fingernails down a chalk board. Until you were able to buy no pulp OJ, I would strain my OJ in a coffee filter. I still do that when I squeeze it fresh. I do agree that fresh tastes much better though.

  35. i actually just need the measured viscosity values for orange juice at the different Brix levels.